Cognac Explained

There is an undoubtedly refined aura around the process of consuming cognac. It’s not the run of the mill order at a restaurant and it is largely those who know their tipple, who will end up ordering it. But with changing trends and a greater eagerness to partake in all things booze, the drink is getting younger in its audience.Yet, not many people know much about the cognac except that it is some kind of distant relative of the brandy. Here’s a kind of dummies guide to the cognac.Gradation:People know the full forms of VS, VSOP, XO etc. But besides the full form, they hardly know what constitutes each gradation. VS very special or superior is also classified by three stars. This is the youngest brandy as the blend used is stored for at least two years in a cask. VSOP very special/superior old pale blend is stored for at least four years. The blend used in an XO extra old is at least 6 years old, though on an average it is more than 20 years. Napoleon is a grade equal to XO in terms of minimum age, but it is generally marketed in-between VSOP and XO in the product range offered by the producers. Extra designates a minimum of six years of age; this grade is usually older than a Napoleon or an XOFlavours:Though the flavours vary from brand to brand, the common ones are subtle floral aromas, hints of vanilla and dry fruit. Despite hundreds of cognac producers, no two cognacs are alike. Each Cognac producer has a distinctive style, be a wood-and-leather feel, a light fruitiness or a delicate floral sweetness.Changing tradition:Cognac is most popular as an after dinner drink; it’s a digestif. Today, however, many chefs have made pairing menus with cognac keeping in mind the gradations. A great way to drink it is straight up, with a dash of lukewarm water. Shifting global trends are making bartenders experiment a bit more with it. While traditionally it is consumed in a brandy balloon or snifter, today you also see cognac in frozen shot glasses, normal Collins glasses with coke or tonic.

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One Response to Cognac Explained

  1. Thanks for this good overview over the cognac qualities. That said I would recommend everyone new to cognac to try different ages to find out his/her personal taste. Its not certainly said that an old cognac tastes better than a young one…

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